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There’s Something About MEAs. Petros C. Mavroidis Edwin B. Parker Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, Professor at the University of Neuchatel. The Argument. The position at both the legislative and the judicial level of the WTO on MEAs is unclear

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there s something about meas

There’s Something About MEAs

Petros C. Mavroidis

Edwin B. Parker Professor of Law at Columbia Law School,

Professor at the University of Neuchatel

the argument
The Argument
  • The position at both the legislative and the judicial level of the WTO on MEAs is unclear
  • The WTO system accommodates agreements between a sub-part of its Membership
  • There are lessons to draw for MEAs from this experience

WTO Public Forum, September 16, 2010

fact lack of clarity
Fact: Lack of Clarity
  • Legislation
    • No specific regulation of the issue
      • CTE: from CTE/1 (1996) to TN/TE/18 (2008): positive attitude, no concrete results
    • Not a source of law, interpretative element
  • Judiciary
    • US – Shrimp (AB): friendly attitude
    • EC – Trade in Biotech Products (P): skeptical

WTO Public Forum, September 16, 2010

agreements between wto members
Agreements Between WTO Members

A list

(a) Non Application

(b) PTAs

(c) Reciprocity

(d) Plurilaterals

(e) Annex I SCM item (k): export credits

(f) ITA

11/17/2014

WTO Public Forum, September 16, 2010

4

comparable
Comparable?
  • (a), (f) incomparable
  • PTAs: extension non compulsory, whereas the for the rest [(c), (d)] extension compulsory if conditions are met; MEAs could be either, but likelier the latter
  • (e): a sub-set of WTO Membership might affect their obligations vis-à-vis rest of the WTO

WTO Public Forum, September 16, 2010

what can we learn
What Can We Learn?
  • MEAs have common elements with (c), (e) and could come into WTO under (d)
  • Is hostility towards MEAs reasonable?
    • Both trade and systemic interests for non participants could be affected, but incumbents can successfully thwart challenges by invoking their content without invoking the MEA. Should form trump substance?
    • MEAs are subsequent agreements (Art. 31 VCLT); the key issue should be whether they impose obligations on non parties (trade + systemic interest)

WTO Public Forum, September 16, 2010

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